Pews News: This Sunday, December 9, there is to be a service of Holy Communion at St Peter’s at 9 am. Then, at 10.30 am, there will be Morning Praise at St Andrew’s. There will be a crèche, but no Junior Church. Then, in a full day’s worship and activity so usual in December, St Andrew’s will be home to the Christingle Service at St Andrew’s at 4 pm, all in aid of the Children’s Society. In the meantime, Pett Methodists will be sharing the 10.30 am service at Pett Parish Church which will be a Toy Service.

As usual throughout December, there will be so much going on in our churches, with the first item of interest being Community Carol Singing outside St Peter’s, followed by seasonal drinks and nibbles inside. This will be on Wednesday, December 12 from 7 to 9 pm, and then the promised goodies will be indoors, to follow.

MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, December 7, the early activity will be by Celia King with her chair based exercise, and Nicola’s Age UK toenail cutting service will be in operation as well. Today’s lunch will be sausage ‘Wellington’, and apple tart for afters. Next Friday, December 14, the members will be entertained by the choir Cantabile. Lunch will be fish pie, which will be followed by rice pudding.

Festive Frosty Friday: Today, Mallydams will be hosting a special free event from 4 until 7 pm, with last entry at 6.30. You can follow the boardwalk through the woodland, lit with twinkly lights and lanterns. Wrap up well and take your torch. There’s no parking on the Mallydams site, but you can park at the Country Park first car park for £3, and get a free bus ride down to the event. The last shuttle bus goes down at 6 pm, and the last one back runs at 7 pm. There’s no need to book. What caught my eye in their ad was the statement that ‘well-behaved dogs on leads with clean owners are welcome’!

Speakers Corner: The second November meeting of Speakers Corner attracted only smallish numbers – such a shame, as guest Wilf Lower was talking about the history of sailing ships. Wilf had wonderful pictures of both old and replicas of famous ships, the most famous of which are the clippers like the Cutty Sark. Clippers were so called because they clipped the time off the journeys. Life was pretty hard in the old sailing ships and the passengers didn’t enjoy much in the way of luxury as they had to bring all their own bedding, clothing and cutlery – and the food didn’t sound very appetising either. All present were fascinated by the sailing ship origins of so many sayings, such as ‘swinging the lead’ – the easiest job on board involved throwing a lead weight into the sea to test the depth; ‘a square meal’ – the ships had square wooden plates; ‘to crack on’ – the sound sails make when catching the wind; ‘learning the ropes’ - the complex rigging of the tall ships.

Today’s replica ships are used for training and two are equipped for disabled people. Mr Lower ensured that his visit proved to be a very interesting afternoon.

The next Speakers Corner meeting features a well known stuntman, Jim Dowdall, who will tell of his career as a film stuntman. Don’t miss it! This will be on December 12 at the village hall at 2.30 pm. Visitors very welcome for £2.

The Gardening Club: On Monday, December 3, Colin Page paid his annual visit to the Gardening Club and gave a fascinating talk on Coasts and Islands. Over the past few years, Colin has travelled on cruises around the UK, taking stunning photographs of the scenery and flora and fauna, and members were treated to some wonderful images. He has also produced a series of greetings cards with his photographs on the front and they proved very popular!

There will be no club meeting in January so the next fixture will be the AGM on Monday, February 4 next year! Don’t hold your breath.

The Village Hall Winter Fair: Got up last Saturday and looked out of the window. Wow! It seemed as if Mother Nature was giving us weather identical to that which destroyed Fairfest back in the summer. I had underestimated the resilience of Fairlighters, for the halls were not only decked for Christmas, but packed. Not only was there more hardware about (display tables plus chairs) but all the ‘customers’ were bulked out in their winter coats, rendering the main hall very cosy. Business seemed to be thriving, and we’ll let you know what the totals were when they are available.

FRA Christmas party: The FRA’s Annual Christmas Party is only a week away now. Many will recall last year’s ‘do’, so get your tickets – if you’re lucky – and join in the fun once more. Those tickets are £10 each, from the Post Office.

The Parish Council: At their meeting on the Tuesday of last week, it was felt that, perhaps, the village had not been sufficiently supportive of the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. It was emphasised that this criticism applied to neither the Church nor to the Royal British Legion. It was agreed to donate £500, split equally between the Legion and Help for Heroes. The Rother Development and Site Allocation report has but a short time remaining for public consultation, and thus for our own Council to comment, and it was clear there was insufficient time available at and during this particular meeting to reach a consensus. A special meeting of the PC Planning Committee was called for Monday of this week, when the way forward was agreed.

Wakehams Farm Development: The more time one spends reading the documents associated with Planning Application 2726, the more one realises that the persuasive efforts of the big boys from London include so many faux facts and fake views that it is surprising that no one has called them out for their multiplicity of downright lies. Among the facets covered by this statement are road safety at the access point, together with the sheer volume of additional traffic, integration with the existing village, replication of the character (principally bungalows) of what Fairlight is at present, schooling, sewerage, the mass ingress of people who will want to use the mini-supermarket, all these and more are traduced or plain ignored. Please read it all for yourselves and make your own statement on the wisdom, or lack of it, in this misconceived application. If you are on blood pressure pills, take them first.